Nepal may be a country where the most ruthless of human traffickers hunt for vulnerable women and children but it is also a nation which has lately produced heroes who fight these monsters with matching ruthlessness and in the process, motivate and inspire followers across the world.
Anuradha Koirala received CNN Hero Award in 2010. Then Pushpa Basnet was given the same award in 2012. Maggie Doyne, who received CNN Hero Award 2015, is an American citizen but her numerous media interviews indicate that the social activist in the young woman was born in Nepal when she came in contact with the ever-smiling Nepalese children. That makes three women to receive the prestigious award within few years.
Now, a senior Nepal Police officer has won the Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award 2016, also for her work to protect and promote the rights of the vulnerable and voiceless.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Kiran Bajracharya, the chief of Bhaktapur District Police Office, is one of eight recipients of this year’s TIP Hero Award. The US Department of State honoured SP Bajracharya yesterday because she “has worked persistently to investigate crimes against women and children, including human trafficking”.
Speaking at the award giving ceremony in Washington DC, Susan Coppedge who is Ambassador-at-Large at the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said that Ms Bajracharya was being recognised for “her outstanding leadership in investigating cases of human trafficking in Nepal, her dedication to educating vulnerable groups about human trafficking, and her tenacity in enabling the prosecution of members of organized crime networks perpetrating this crime”.
Addressing the participants of “The Trafficking in Persons 2016 Hero” ceremony, she even humoured the senior Nepalese Police officer. “I told Kiran the State Department should give out medals too. She looks really wonderful,” Ms Coppedge said as she addressed the recipient of the TIP Hero Award from Kathmandu who was in her Nepal Police uniform.
It was Ms Bajracharya’s sheer determination during her association with the Central Investigation Bureau (Nepal Police) from 2013 to 2015 that the South Asian nation “initiated at least 14 trafficking cases, an increase from just one case in prior years”, the TIP Report 2016 says. Her crack down on international trafficking gangs led to many arrests and successful prosecution of 10 criminal gang members.
The report also applauded the Nepal Police officer for her continued crusade against perpetrators of human rights violation, “In her current role as District Police Chief, SP Bajracharya continues to lead on human trafficking. She gives orientation and awareness training to women working in local brick kilns on the risk of modern slavery.”
The TIP Report, which “focuses on strategies to prevent human trafficking around the globe”, is produced by the US Department of State each year in coordination of its diplomatics missions across the world.
“The TIP Report is the product of a yearlong effort requiring contributions and follow-up from employees in the United States and at our diplomatic outposts across the globe, host country governments, and civil society,” US Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in a statement.